Trumpetissima!

504-645-1193

504-645-1193

The purpose of this site is to promote and offer my services as a trumpet player and instructor.

Why the trumpet?

There so many instruments to choose from. Yet, why is it you cannot stop thinking about the trumpet? It is so pretty, isn't it? Yep; I know the feeling.

To me, it seems like I had no choice. Being born in Haiti, I was raised listening to Chicago, Maurice Andre, and musicals styles like Soca, Merengue and Kompa, all heavy with brass sounds. From the walls of sounds coming at me, the sound of the trumpet stood out. Soca and Merengue music really brought it out. From the only station that played just one hour of classical music, every time they would play brass quintet music, it would hypnotize me for the whole day. The sound of the trumpet would never leave my brain for days. 

After I started to practice, even the hard stuff did not phase me, just like it didn't phase you. It feels like we were made for each other, the trumpet and I. Love at first sound!  Somehow, choosing an instrument feels like choosing a soulmate. To me, that instrument expressed what I felt. Its shape, its sound, and timbre matched the sound in my mind. The literature of the the trumpet also fascinated me. It didn't matter if it was a Mozart symphony, or the Firebird suite.

 Music's power is overwhelming at times. The intricate complexities of its dominion take hold of our lives, and appease our quest for answers and fulfillment. In my case, the trumpet is the answer, whether I play it at a high level or not. 

Keep on tooting amigos! :)

Mouthpiece Practice

The mouthpiece connects your buzzing lips to the leadpipe of the trumpet. To maximize our chances to play very well, we strive to find a mouthpiece that feels comfortable, a mouthpiece that easily allows us to move around the horn (attack, range, sound, all around comfort or specialty). 

Max Schlossberg recommends buzzing on the mouthpiece for about two minutes before blowing the horn itself. Why? -We recognize that the source of our sound is first and foremost mental. Yet, to achieve that sound that we hear or want, the lips have to produce it. now we are talking about flesh on metal or the other way around. Schlossberg understands that challenge and calls for a taming phase ( that's what I call it), when we need to introduce our bodies to the metal instrument. It is good to also remind ourselves of all the correct things to do on the horn: optimal amount of pressure everywhere (lips, body, hands on the instrument etc...), a very easy breathing  mechanism, tongue placement, and overall posture. I am sure there are other personal preferences I am leaving out, but you understand my point. 

The mental and physical preparatory setup can take place right then on the mouthpiece, so that, when you blow your first long tone in the instrument, it's not a forced uncontrolled one, which sometimes affect the rest of our practice or rehearsal or delays that sense of ease for some of us. Light unforced tongued and slurred notes on the mouthpiece is all it take have a great start to your daily trumpet practice. 

Happy tooting!

Warm Up!

All musicians and athletes know what these two words mean. It is the condition that allows us maximum output for whatever field we specialize in. For instrumentalist, readiness can be more mental than physical. That mental readiness can be establishedwith good physical and mental routines that helps us maintain a relaxed disposition during playing.

We are all different, mentally and physiologically. Their concepts can get us started. But each player has to find what works for him/her. We have different strengths and weaknesses. Some of us can play high, others can play fast. Our conception of sound and how to attain and express musicality is different.

Clark, Smith and Arban provide exercises that helped them achieve readiness and derivatives of these. They were teachers. Therefore they came up with models that may help students. We, as individuals, should use them as guidelines and tailor them to meet our needs. Ultimately, like them, we can conceive exercises that suit us perfectly.

Maintaining as much relaxation as possible during warm up is always my goal. What is yours?

Revolutionary Trumpet Players

Lee Morgan and Dizzy Gillespie were phenomenal trumpet players of their time. They both were influential in the development of many great jazz trumpeters like Lew Soloff, John Faddis and Arturo Sandoval.

Dizzy was a strong player with technical skills rarely seen before him on the trumpet. Besides his technical prowesses, he had a philosophical approach to the way the music was perform. One could hear him investigating alternate modes or strange neighbor tones. He could play strong as he could be smooth, fast, high and in tune. His playing still was very challenging at times Listen to his multi-faceted style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdvPuDxNFXM.

 

Lee Morgan was a strong and very collaborative player. With records spanning from 1956 to 1972, he had a very large discography. He performed with Coltrane, Dizzy, Cannonball etc... He was a very modal player and uses repetitive riffs with glissandi. Here is one of his albums: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBLYYbDuLIo.

 

These are the first two performers I felt like using to introduce my blog. I hope they can inspire to dig deeper in order to follow in the footsteps of the great masters. Leave me some comments if you are so inclined. 

 

Cheers!!!

Fritzgerald Barrau

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